My apologies for the lateness of the ratings, but it's been a bank holiday this weekend and I've been slightly busy.
Plus, finding the inspiration to write about Bolton Wanderers' Friday night draw with Blackburn rovers proved to be quite difficult. In the first 45 minutes we were simply appalling, as a Blackburn side completely void in any attacking quality pretty much dominated.
Are now resilient defence held firm and Rovers din't find a lead, but they should have done as they hit about six free headers over the bar.
The second half was a lot better. We controlled the ball a lot more and we became the team in the ascendancy. Our defence were still sturdy and were only troubled when Blackburn scored a goal that was well off-side. The midfield moved the ball around nicely and created a few openings. Alas, it was the forwards who let the side down once more, as they were unable to have an impact on the game.
It finished 0-0. That was probably fair.
Here's how the players did:
Ben Amos - 7
Copy and paste from every Player Ratings so far this season. Amos was once again dominant, composed and a calming influence in the side. It still astounds me that we managed to sign him.
Lawrie Wilson - 6
Much like with Amos, it was another typical Lawrie Wilson performance on Friday. He was solid yet unspectacular, took no risks, made no mistakes and defended very well again. His crossing could be better, but it's not too much of a qualm since we finally have a reliable right back.
Dorian Dervite - 8
Despite his red card, Dorian Dervite was my MOTM against Blackburn. I've often commented on how his form took a nasty nose dive last season and after once looking great he became a complete liability. Well, his form has seemingly returned. He was dominant against Rovers, winning everything in the air and constantly cutting out attacks. He made it seem as if Jordan Rhodes wasn't even playing. It's just a shame that a silly tackle late on earned him a red card and a one game suspension. I don't criticism him too much, the first booking was not a yellow card in a million years. However, once you're on a booking, it's really stupid to make such a needless foul.
Prince Désir-Gouano - 7
It's easy to see why Prince is quickly becoming a fan favourite, his ability paired with his tendency to... show off, we'll say, is endearing as much as it's frightening. It was another very solid display from the 21-year old, the highlight of which being an incredible block in the first half. However, he did cock up on three occasions, and had the ball gone to anyone other than Nathan Delfuenso, we'd have lost the game. I like Prince, truly, but I warned that he has serious mistakes in him and they very nearly cost us on Friday.
Dean Moxey - 8
Dean Moxey's transformation this season has been nothing short of incredible, and very relieving. It's detailed a lot better in Tom's recent piece (click here to read), but Moxey has gone from a player who everybody hated seeing on the team sheet to one of the first names on it. In another fine display at left-back, he was strong and intelligent. His positioning and ability to win the ball back were excellent, equally matched by his use of the ball whilst in possession. With the departure of Tim Ream, Moxey really had to step up, so far he has.
Mark Davies - 8
I understand why people call for Mark Davies to be played further forward, I do. However, with our current squad, his best position for us in the centre midfield role. I get people's arguments of why he should be played in the #10 role but, the simple fact of the matter is, with Clough in the side that position is filled. Clough can't play up front on his own, and both Clough and Davies will be truly wasted if they're farmed out wide. So if both are to remain in the team, Davies has to be in centre midfield with Clough in the #10 role. With that out of the way, I thought Davies was fantastic once again. His first half was a quiet, battling performance, as we weren't on the ball at all, but in the second half anything good Bolton did came through Davies' quick passing and movement. He should have had a penalty and it was he who created our best move of the game with a driving run, and that's what Davies can bring us in that deep midfield position, he can get on the ball and bring it forward and create space for the attackers. The defensive side of his game shouldn't go unnoticed either, he isn't a liability in that more defensive role and is able to stick tough tackles in and win back the ball. He's finally being able to stay fit and get games under his belt and we'll soon reap the awards even more.
Neil Danns - 7
Midfielder Neil Danns continued his run of form with his third good performance in a row. In front of the Sky cameras, Danns showed why Neil Lennon has kept faith in him rather than start more popular players like Josh Vela or Jay Spearing. Both of them would probably bring a lot more to the side than Danns, but it is hard to argue with his inclusion at the team at the minute. Against Rovers he moved the ball around quickly, keeping up the tempo and giving the ball off to the more influential players. He shined defensively too, shielding the back four with some important tackles and interceptions.
Liam Feeney - 6
I imagine some will disagree, but I thought Feeney had a decent game on Friday night, following on from his very good performance against Nottingham Forest. Finally starting in his natural wide right position, he was quick and direct on the ball. He was always running at the fullback, whom he had the beating of, and swinging balls into the box that, had Madine had a better sense of anticipation about him, would have resulted in goals. Liam Feeney is no world beater, but as long as he continues to the simple things fairly well then he could be an asset for the side.
Zach Clough - 5
It was another quiet performance from Clough. He wasn't helped by the fact our sole tactic for the majority of the game was to hoof it up to Madine, who rarely won anything against Rovers' towering centre halfs, but he was once more near on nullified out of the game. However, whilst he may not have got on the ball much, whenever he did he looked dangerous. It was his bending shot that set up a chance for Emile Heskey and he displayed several clever flicks and sharp touches. He still has to adapt but, slowly but surely, he's getting better.
Wellington Silva - 5
It wasn't as an explosive performance as his debut for Arsenal loanee, Wellington Silva. He, like Clough, rarely got on the ball but, also like Clough, when he did he looked menacing. Always looking to drive at defenders, it was his mazy run in the second half that led to an opening for the Whites. Silva will be a dangerous player for us, but his end product needs some work. He was also lucky not to see red for a kick-out at a Rovers player he'd wrestled Clough to the ground off the ball. I like Silva's firey attitude, but he needs to temper it a little.
Gary Madine - 3
In the first half Madine brought a long ball over the top down beautifully, but then instead of shooting he opted to try and pull the ball back into the path of Clough. He missed his strike partner completely. Seeing a striker play without confidence is painful. I'm not suggesting Madine would be a 20 goal a season striker if he had confidence, but he'd definitely at least be shooting in the box if he had any. He desperately needs a goal, but as self forefilling prophecies go, it doesn't look like one will appear any time soon. He didn't even have that good a day of winning headers either, as the pair of Grant Hanley and Shane Duffy were dominant in the air. He does a vital job for the team, he battles, he wins the ball. But he isn't a goalscorer, he doesn't have the instincts for it and unless we sign one - I fear the very worst.
Emile Heskey - 5
As he always does, Heskey made a massive impact when he came on and was desperately unlucky not to clinch the game, as his shot was brilliantly cleared off the line.